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A Sephardic Journey Through the Twentieth Century with Sarah Stein

Hosted By: Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP)

Based upon Prof. Stein’s award-winning book, Family Papers, this talk surveys the history of the twentieth century–and world Jewry–through the arc of a single family whose roots tie them to Ottoman Salonica but who became a global diaspora all their own. For centuries, the bustling port city of Salonica was home to the sprawling Levy family. As leading publishers and editors, they helped chronicle modernity as it was experienced by Sephardic Jews across the Ottoman Empire. The wars of the twentieth century, however, redrew the borders around them, in the process transforming the Levys from Ottomans to Greeks. Family members soon moved across boundaries and hemispheres, stretching the familial diaspora from Greece to Western Europe, Israel, Brazil, and India. In time, the Holocaust nearly eviscerated the clan, eradicating whole branches of the family tree.

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